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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Those Dam Diversion Easements

For many people in the Red River Valley, the talk of flooding or the Fargo Dam and Diversion is an occasional topic of conversation. A circumstance of spring run off or a heavy rain that places TOO MUCH of good thing, in too short a time frame on your doorstep.

However, for those directly affected – rarely a days goes by that the Imperialism of Fargo/Cass doesn’t weave its way into conversation. Not because Fargo shouldn’t have flood control…, but for all the reasons they are pursuing irresponsible development and flood control far outside Fargo’s jurisdictional boundaries.

It is the impacts outside Fargo’s jurisdictional boundaries that have people at odds with the project. Largely due the simple ignorance of the Fargo Diversion Authority and Cass county believing they can do as they please and pay little to nothing for how they’ve disrupted people lives.

The sheer insanity of trying to float a theory that Oxbow, Hickson, Bakke needs a $65-70 million dollar ring levee-dike, which is intended to let the communities exist within a man-made flood reservoir, boggles the mind.

However, one of the most damaging aspects of Fargo’s proposed pet project is the outright disrespect and lack of any quantified compensation for those who are having Fargo’s flood waters pushed upon them.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boasts high tech modeling and the latest greatest science and along with the Fargo Diversion Authority…, they revel in their pomposity. Yet it is rather curious when a real world question is asked…, there is a notable lack of any concise coherent response forthcoming.

From the outset of this project, property owners both downstream and upstream have wanted to know how they will be compensated for the inverse taking they will experience. Amazingly, lots of rhetoric and pointing at Fargo being the states economic engine…, which is questionable at best…, but no real answers as to how property owners will be made financially whole due to negative impacts caused by the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion.

If you can believe a word that comes out of Diversion Chair Darrell Vanyo’s mouth, then On May 20th, 2014 he may have outlined the precedent that addresses a question that has, for some, lingered for nearly 6 years.

Farming is arguably a business, just like any other. The unique facet of farming is that it contributes “lifeblood” to the economic landscape of the Red River Valley, North Dakota and national economy – providing thousands of jobs and billions in gross annual revenues, as opposed to a golf course that cannot even fill its private membership roster.

Ignorantly, the simpering diversion authority idiots suggest that the farmland impacts would be small and that the land can still be farmed…, yet the Fargo Diversion Authority refuses to accept that the critical time window for planting will be delayed by the operation of the dam and the staging of water in the reservoir. Even worse, they offer no viable guarantee of crop insurance, compensation for late plant, yield reductions or consideration for proximity of farm headquarters to tillable land.

The Fargo Diversion Authority has floundered miserably in defining a one time water easement valuation that addresses the impacts placed upon the building block business sector for the region, yet remarkably, they found a way to value a recreational business and paid $25 thousand dollars and acre to replace it.

It would be only fair to apply the same logic used to justify land valuation at Oxbow, to all other easements and land acquisitions associated with the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion, both retroactively and from this point forward (adjusted to inflation).

In the next 90 secs, this excerpt discusses why the Fargo Diversion Authority is building a new clubhouse, swimming pool and golf course holes for a financially challenged, non-profit, shareholder corporation.

At :43 seconds, Darrell Vanyo dropped the bombshell that may well have increased the projects cost over $1.25 billion dollars…, bringing the inconceivably stagnant $1.8 billion price tag to the $3 – $3.5 billion dollar neighborhood.

Here is the audio excerpt with transcript below:

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Chris Berg: I want to move onto, he brought up the Oxbow ring dike and I want to talk about something here where you have mayor Nyhof…, was uhh…, was intially with these guys – the MNDak Upstream Coalition, then all of the sudden someone sat down withem’ I don’t know who it was…, you or who it was…, but all of the sudden they said – hey look, here’s the deal, were gonna get you a new golf course, new clubhouse, new swimming pool – now he’s trying to making $6,500 dollars a month as a job authority guy – it feels like there was a back door deal. $65 million dollars for 100 Oxbow homes, you’re talkin about $650 grand a house…, just for retention.
Darrell Vanyo: Yep…, okay…, the the first of all the deal with the golf course is no different than it would be for any business. If you are going to take half of a business away from them…, you owe it to replace it.

If we are going to take a home away…, we’re going to buy it or they can move elsewhere in Oxbow. So the Oxbow is, we’re not just building a golf course because we want to build somebody a golf course…, and swimming pool and all of that because we want to entice them to want to take an offer of a ring levee…, they have that, its not going to be there anymore, we have to replace it.

If I, if you’re gonna be impacted negatively…, and I don’t replace your home…, you’re not gonna be…, uh…, happy camper. So we have to, we have to pay for it, we have to replace it, that’s the part…, we’re not replacing all of it…, uhhh…, but we’re replacing the holes the levee is going to be on…

Chris Berg: Well it definitely seems like a high number to me, $650 grand per home…, that that that’s a lot of tax payer money.


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One Response to “ Those Dam Diversion Easements ”

  1. Vanyo’s statement that ” the deal with the golf course is no different than it would be for any business. If you are going to take half of a business away from them…, you owe it to replace it.” is a powerful setting of precedent. It means that the Diversion Authority would have to compensate for damages caused by the project in perpetuity and any dream of a one-time easement has just been thrown out the door. This will raise total project costs by a huge amount since crop insurance will not cover man-made damages.

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